6 Things To DO Before Bed, For a Good Night’s Sleep

6 Things to DO Before Bed...for a Good Night's Sleep

If you don’t think that going to bed late, sleeping lightly or waking up in the night is affecting you, here’s your wake-up call (pun intended). Regular poor quality sleep WILL slowly ruin your health. We’ve showed you 6 things to AVOID before bed, now here are 6 things to DO before bed, if you are tired of being tired, having broken sleeps and suffering with other sleep or energy problems.

6 Things to Do Before Bed for a Good Night's Sleep

1/ Turn off the wireless, power points and mobile signal

The frequencies from man-made electro-magnetic devices can interfere with our natural frequencies and bodily rhythms, including our circadian rhythms, aka sleep cycle.

There is much debate in the scientific community about how much electro-magnetic frequencies (EMFs) and electric fields affect us. However, there are several international studies which suggest that they pose a significant threat to our health, and tons of anecdotal evidence of people feeling the negative effects of EMFs. This should not be ignored. If you want to research this topic more on your own, start with the non-profit organisations Power Watch and H.e.s.e. Project.

In the meantime, instead of waiting decades to see what the long-term effects really are on us, how about just limiting your exposure whenever possible? Especially at a time when it doesn’t inconvenience you, like when you are sleeping.

We have had several clients report an immediate improvement in their sleep or their child’s sleep when they removed electric items from their bedroom, pulled the plug at night, turned off their wireless modem before bed, turned off the mobile phone signals at night, and/or re-routed any electric cords that were running under or around their bed.

2/ Take a shower

Several sleep research organisations suggest cold showers for insomniacs, while other research and testimony swears by the sleep-inducing effects of warm showers. Either way, it seems a shower will relax you and help regulate your body temperature for sleep. So what have you got to loose? Just your poor sleep habits.

3/ Have Sex (alone or with your partner)

We already know that men have no problem falling asleep quickly after orgasm, but did you know that sex or masturbation ensures deeper, more restful sleep for both sexes?

Sex boosts the production of sleep and relaxation hormones such as oxytocin, prolactin and estrogen, and decreases the production of cortisol – the hormone that prevents relaxation and sleep. So now you have another good reason to have sex or masturbate. Your Primal Health coach has prescribed it to you!

If your sex drive is low, you better read this!

4/ Write your thoughts

Even if you are laying in bed exhausted, if your mind is still active, it will keep your body awake. And it’s usually when you finally stop and do nothing, that all the good ideas come to your head and you remember all the things that you want to say and need to do. Therefore, by writing your thoughts at bedtime, you benefit twice: you get tons of great ideas and organised plans, and once you get all that clutter out of your head, your mind and body can finally get a restful sleep.

I recommend laying in bed for a few minutes with your eyes closed to let all the ideas and mind chatter flow. Then using a dim light, write down as much as you need, whether as lists, notes or in journal form. Then enjoy your blissful sleep.

5/ Eat, swallow, rub or spray Magnesium

Research has shown that magnesium deficiency and chronic insomnia go hand in hand, and even marginal deficiency can prevent the brain from settling down at night. On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. This was proven in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota, and is constantly backed up by numerous testimonials of people who have finally gotten the rest they need after taking magnesium supplements before bed.

Of course, you can get magnesium from real foods, and that is the optimal scenario. Good sources include green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and almonds. However, many of us have compromised digestive systems which lead to mineral deficiencies even with a nutritious diet. Therefore, a good quality magnesium supplement may be needed to greatly boost intake and sleep health.

One of the most absorbable forms of magnesium is magnesium citrate powder. Other good chelated forms of magnesium are ascorbate, orotate, glycinate, or ideally a mix of them. Some sensitive people get diarrhea from higher doses of the citrate form, so listen to your body. Additionally, if you have long-standing digestive issues, you may not absorb oral supplements so well, and instead can look at magnesium creams or sprays. Many good health food/supplement shops have naturopaths in-store which can assist you.

*Note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium is important to overall health, and these two minerals should be taken together for best results.

6/ Breathing exercises and/or meditation

You might be getting tired of me talking about meditation and breathing. But when you find something that is so easy to do, costs nothing, and is so beneficial to your health, you want to spread the word! These practices, even when done for as little as 5-10 minutes, can have an extremely relaxing effect on your bodily systems and prepare you for the best sleep ever.

You can sit up straight or lie in bed, dim the lights or turn them off, use a guided audio meditation or just take some deep breaths feeling your belly expanding and your body relaxing. It doesn’t matter so much HOW you do it, just that you DO it. Regularly.

You can let Brad’s soothing voice guide you in his Meditation Made Simple video, try any of our 10 Easy Ways to Meditation, or simply lie in bed doing alternate nostril breathing.

How to do Alternate Nostril Breathing for Relaxation, Concentration and Sleep

 

Other sleep articles by Primal Health:
6 Things to Avoid Before Bed, For a Good Night’s Sleep
Are Your Daily Habits Affecting Your Sleep Quality? Take the Quiz.
How My Body Swelled Up From Sleep Stress

 

Which of these or other pre-sleep rituals have helped you get a better night’s sleep?

Primal Easter Recipe Guide & some fun activities

Easter Primal Recipe Guide

When Kaiya was 3, someone gave her a mini chocolate egg at Easter, and she didn’t know what it was. She admired the shiny pink foil of her little sparkly treasure egg. She didn’t know that if she peeled the foil away, there would be chocolate underneath. That’s because all her Easters had been real-food celebrations! So from our family to yours, here’s a primal guide to having a healthy Easter. No sugar-crashes, indigestion, or tantrums. Just yummy food, healthy treats, and new traditions.

Primal Easter Recipe Guide...with Fun Activities Too!

Celebrating Easter without junk food and processed chocolate is not hard or restrictive. Ok, it might require a little more time than stopping at the shop to buy chocolate eggs and marshmallows, but  that time of creating your own celebratory food is part of the fun. Kids especially love to participate in making things for holidays and celebrations. This gives the holiday more meaning and vivid memories than simply hoarding gifts and over-indulging in food that makes them feel terrible afterward.

Easter Eggs & The Egg Hunt

Easter is all about eggs. So why are we eating chocolate shaped like eggs, instead of the real thing, which is one of the most nutritious, delicious, affordable and versatile foods on the planet?

– Decorate and hide Hard-Boiled Eggs
Instead of hiding chocolate eggs, hide the hard-boiled eggs that you’ve decorated yourself. Kids will love showing off and giving away their creations! Here’s how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs in the oven.

Decorate hard-boiled eggs with markers, crayons, stickers and/or dye
Decorate hard-boiled eggs with markers, crayons, stickers and/or dye

When Kaiya was little, we bought those plastic sleeves that magically decorate the eggs for you, and she told us the names of people to put on the eggs who she wanted to give them to. As she’s gotten a bit older, she loves to colour her own eggs with markers, stickers and natural dyes, and still loves giving them away.

Fill and hide plastic eggs with healthy treats and gifts
Fill and hide plastic eggs with healthy treats

– Fill and hide colourful Plastic Eggs
This is Kaiya’s favourite type of eggs to hunt, as she never knows what she will find inside the eggs she collects. I use the same dozen plastic eggs each year and put inside a variety of things like:
*Dried fruit – Kaiya loves white mulberries, cranberries, dates, apricots, figs and sultanas (raisins)
*Nuts & seeds – try delicious macadamias or pecans, cashews or a mixture with pepita seeds
*Berries – messier but delicious and fun
*Grapes
*Raw cheese bits
*High-quality raw chocolate squares
*Homemade jelly/gummy candies
*Homemade macaroons
*Coconut chips
*Beef jerky
*Stickers
*Coins – for her piggy bank

– Have an Egg Race with the collected eggs
Once the eggs are collected, play a game with them. Balance an egg on a wooden spoon or tablespoon and see who can finish the race without dropping the egg.

– Eat the collected eggs!
After we collect our eggs, we eat them with our Easter picnic lunch. You can also use them to make something fancier like deviled eggs, which I think are way yummier than chocolate. But I’m weird like that. 🙂

Bacon Avocado Deviled Eggs
Bacon Avocado Deviled Eggs

Chocolate, Treats & the Easter Basket

We decided from the start not to follow the tradition of gifting our daughter with an Easter Basket full of food and gifts. Her easter basket is the one she uses to collect her eggs during the egg hunt, and maybe put some healthy treats in to take to an Easter picnic. But I realise the gift basket is a big tradition for many families, so let’s just look at all the ways you can primalise your Easter treats and baskets.

Paleo Easter Basket Ideas
Paleo Easter Basket Ideas

– Fill your basket with healthy treats
It may take some time for your kids to adjust to fruit and paleo snacks in their basket if they are used to huge chocolate bunnies, so a good idea might be to slowly add in healthy additions to the basket along with a smaller amount of chocolate. Each year, you can make the basket more primal.

– Make homemade chocolate
It’s really so easy! Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup cocoa butter
1 cup chocolate powder (cacao or cocoa)
1/4-1/2 cup raw honey, to taste
1 tsp vanilla or other flavor (orange or peppermint oil are good!)

Instructions:
Melt cocoa butter in a double boiler or metal bowl over a medium simmering pot of water.
Add remaining ingredients and combine.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour chocolate onto paper. Or pour chocolate into molds.
Place in fridge until hardened.

– Make your own Cadbury eggs, marshmallow peeps, peanut butter eggs and other treats

Homemade Cadbury Eggs
Homemade Cadbury Eggs
Homemade Easter Marshmallow Peeps
Homemade Easter Marshmallow Peeps
Homemade Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs
Homemade Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs
Raw Carrot Cake Balls
Raw Carrot Cake Balls

 

Chicks, Lambs, & Bunnies

These baby animals symbolise Easter’s celebration of new life and springtime. Even in Australia, where it’s Autumn in Easter, these animals are the enduring mascots of the holiday.

This year however, instead of marshmallow chicks and chocolate bunnies, how about these awesome ways of incorporating Easter animals into your celebrations?

– Visit a nursery or petting zoo to see baby animals
Our local nursery hides plastic white eggs around the entire place, and the kids absolutely love the big hunt and filling their baskets, without any chocolate eggs or prizes. Plus, they get to visit with the baby animals at the same time!

– Make animal shapes with real food or healthy treats

Fruit & Nut Easter Bunny Face
Fruit & Nut Easter Bunny Faces
Coconut Macaroon Easter Chicks
Coconut Macaroon Easter Chicks
Traditional English Almond Meal Easter Cookies
Traditional English Almond Meal Easter Cookies

– Cook up a delicious roast chicken, lamb or rabbit
My favourite is lamb shoulder. Just rub it all over with salt and pepper (and rosemary/thyme/garlic if you have it) and roast in 160C (325F) oven for 25 min. per 500g (per lb.).

Roast Easter Lamb with Carrots
Roast Easter Lamb with Carrots

 – Celebrate Carrots: the Easter Bunny’s favourite food
What’s not to love about carrots?! They are highly nutritious, portable, delicious, cheap. No peeling, cutting, cooking or cutlery required. You can eat them raw, steamed, roasted, grated. Or you can make carrot juice!

Buy them in multicolour varieties if you can find them, for more bright colour on your Easter table or in Easter baskets. Leave some out for the Easter Bunny :). Try roasting carrots with butter and maple syrup (or honey) for a sweet veggie treat.

Roasted Carrots
Roasted Carrots
Carrot Juice Smoothie
Carrot Juice Smoothie

 

Find your balance of real food and junk food

As with all holidays and occasions, there is going to be junk food around. Instead of stressing yourself and your kids with trying to completely avoid the commercial crap, find a healthy balance that works for you and your family, your social environment, and where you are at in your primal journey.

As Kaiya now goes to daycare a couple days a week and spends time at friend’s houses who eat differently than us, we are realising that certain foods are going to be a part of her environment, whether we like it or not. She should have the chance to try unhealthy foods and learn to make decisions about how much is enough. Banishment of junk food only makes it more desirable! Find your balance for an enjoyable Easter.

What are your Easter traditions and usual Easter foods? Share your ideas in the comments below!

15-Minute Primal Gourmet Bacon-Wrapped Chicken & Vegetables

I’m a firm believer that in order to have healthy and delicious meals, you don’t need fancy recipes, special ingredients or a lot of time. All you need are quality real foods and a few tricks in the kitchen for making amazing food in little time. Here’s a perfect example: a gourmet looking and tasting dish using only basic ingredients, barely any cooking skills, and as little as 15 minutes. Let’s do it!

15 Minute Primal Gourmet Bacon-Wrapped Chicken & Vegetables

My secret weapon in this recipe is the oven. The oven does all the cooking for me so I don’t have to stir, saute, sear or simmer anything. I hardly even have to use my knife. The time involved for you to get the food on the oven trays is only about 15 minutes. The oven will do the rest, and then you just put the food on the plates and eat!

Another secret you’ll learn about quick quality cooking is to be flexible with recipes using whatever ingredients you have available. You’ll get better at this in time, and for now, I will lay out plenty of options for you so you can get the idea.

Gourmet Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Ingredients

– Chicken thighs
– Bacon
– Mushrooms & Tomatoes,
or other soft vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant or yellow squash (optional)
– Pumpkin, or sweet potato (optional)
– Leeks, or brown or red onions (optional)
– Stuffing for the chicken: pesto, salsa, chutney, mustard, asparagus, capsicum (bell pepper), raw cheese, pine nuts, chilli, seasonings, fresh or dried herbs, etc. (optional)
– Flavourings: sea salt, pepper, lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, ginger, dried or fresh thyme, sage, oregano, parsely, paprika, turmeric, curry powder, lemongrass, chilli, butter, ghee, chicken stock, etc. (optional)

Variations
As you can see, besides the chicken and bacon, the ingredients can vary widely. Just use what you have in your fridge and pantry!

You can stuff the chicken, but you don’t have to. You can add soft vegetables to the baking tray with the chicken, or not. You can add as much or little as you like and swap out or omit different vegetables and seasonings and sauces.

So really, you can make this dish 10 different ways, without one single fancy recipe.

15 Minute Primal Gourmet Bacon-Wrapped Chicken & Vegetables
15 Minute Bacon-Wrapped Chicken & Vegetables

Gourmet Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Recipe

Step 1: Preheat oven to 180C (350F). If you want to ‘stuff’ the chicken with some of the stuffing options above (or something else), lay the chicken thighs open on your baking tray, put some stuffing on each thigh and fold over the thighs to make little parcels.

Step 2: Wrap each thigh in a thick piece of bacon.

Step 3: Chop or dice your mushrooms and tomatoes, or other soft veggies, and scatter around the chicken.

Step 4: Cut the pumpkin (or sweet potato) into slices or larges wedges and lay in a single layer on another oven tray. No need to peel the pumpkin (but remove the seeds). If you want leeks or onion, slice them and scatter around the pumpkin, and around the chicken if desired.

Quick oven roasted pumpkin and leeks
Easy oven-roasted pumpkin and leeks

Step 5: Add any desired seasonings from the ‘flavourings’ list above, or anything else you want to use. Some flavourings, such as fresh herbs, lemon and olive oil can be added now AND/OR after cooking.

Step 6: Put both trays in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes. The pumpkin is done when a fork or knife goes through it easily. The chicken is done when you prick it with a sharp knife and the juices come out clear (not pink).

While the oven does all the cooking, you have time to help your kids with their bath or homework, take a shower and unwind from work, or do a 20 minute meditation or yoga session in the living room!

Oven-baked bacon wrapped chicken & veggies
Oven-baked bacon wrapped chicken & veggies

Loving the Leftovers

You’ll notice I didn’t use amounts in the ingredients, but I recommend you always make enough to completely fill the oven trays. This way, you only have to do the prep once and use the oven once, but you will have plenty of food leftover for a couple more meals the next day. Here are 3 completely different ways to enjoy leftovers from this one meal.

1/ This meal is great cold the next day as a scrap salad. Just chop everything up and mix it together to pack for your lunch. You can drizzle over some olive oil and vinegar too and add lettuce greens or baby spinach if you like.

2/ Another leftovers variation is to mash up the pumpkin and serve the bacon and chicken on top. Reheat everything in a little pan or under the grill first. Yum!

3/ Lastly, you can heat up the oven-roasted pumpkin and leek with some chicken stock, then blend it all to make a delicious soup. Chop the meats and veggies and put into the soup.

6 Things to Avoid Before Bed, For a Good Night’s Sleep

6 Things To Avoid Before Bed, For a Good Night's Sleep

If you feel energetic at night, take ages to fall asleep, wake up in the middle of night, or wake up feeling tired, your sleep habits need help asap. Start by avoiding these 6 common things that you may not realize are affecting your sleep quality. Though some of these things are healthy for you, they are best avoided in the hours leading up to bedtime.

6 Things To Avoid Before Bed, For a Good Night's Sleep

1/ Vigorous exercise

You body naturally releases catabolic (break-down) hormones in the morning to enable you to stay alert and work hard. So the first half of the day is best for exercising. These hormones slowly decrease after midday and are replaced by anabolic (build-up) hormones which enable you to rest and repair while you sleep.

If you exercise vigorously in the late afternoon or evening, your hormonal system will be disrupted so that even when you are sleeping, your body’s system’s are not resting and repairing – which is the whole point of sleep! Make an effort to change your exercise schedule so you are not doing a hard workout late in the day.

Sex is an exception to this rule, as the hormones that are released from sexual activity can actually aid sleep. Woohoo!

 

2/ Stressful TV shows and movies

Your mind has such a powerful influence on your body that even if you are laying down motionless, your body will respond to stressful situations – even TV plots – by releasing those catabolic hormones again. TV shows and movies full of violence, murder, arguments and suspense can get your pulse racing, even when you don’t feel emotionally affected by it. And then once again, your body is in stress mode while you’re sleeping!

Though it’s best to turn off the TV well before bedtime, if you’re going to watch something in the evening, keep it comic or light. This is also why it’s best to ‘never go to bed mad’. Calmly resolving stressful fights before going to bed will make all the difference in your sleep.

 

3/ Food that is hard for you to digest

Normally, digestion processes are greatly slowed during sleep so your body can put it’s efforts toward growing and repairing other areas of the body. To ensure this growing and repairing (the point of sleep) takes place each night, avoid eating any foods before bed that require great digestive effort.

Sugar and junk food should be an obvious no-no before bed, but there are also many primal foods that can require lots of digestive work. This usually includes meats, and for some people may also include raw vegetables, nuts, grains, and dairy. Better choices are light soups, low-sugar fruits like berries, and avocado. If you have regular digestive problems, it’s best to avoid eating anything for 1-2 hours before bed.

 

4/ Cacao

Speaking of eating before bed, if you’ve been indulging in paleo and primal style desserts, you’ve probably discovered cacao. We surely enjoy raw cacao chocolate bars from time to time, and got addicted to raw cacao avocado mousse as an evening snack. However, cacao contains a compound called Theobromine, which is a strong stimulant and was used by the Spanish to keep their armies going while conquering Central and South America. Therefore, it will also keep you up at night, or keep your body’s system’s up at night when you think they are sleeping with you. Best to avoid cacao several hours before bed, or for the second half of the day if your sleep needs serious help.

 

5/ Caffeine – it’s not just in coffee

And while we’re talking about stimulants, be aware that even if you’ve wisened up to not having coffee late in the day, there are also caffeine and other natural stimulants in black tea, jasmine tea, chai tea, and green tea. Avoid any of these drinks several hours before bed. Good naturally caffeine-free alternatives are herbal teas (like peppermint, ginger, chamomile, etc.), dandelion root tea (which resembles coffee) and Rooibos tea.

Having said that, if you’re prone to waking up in the middle of the night to go pee, it’s best to not drink any liquids for at least 3 hours before bed!

 

6/ Computers & Mobile Phone

The blue light emitted from your computer and phone screen is also present in morning light. So when you are staring at those screens before bed, your body thinks it’s morning and starts releasing wake up hormones, which also suppresses the release of sleep hormones like melatonin.

You may have heard this one a lot lately, but it’s a hard habit to break in our internet addicted world, so even we need to constantly remind ourselves and each other to turn off the screens before bed.

Set yourself an electronic curfew alarm two hours before your bedtime, and plan for other activities instead. If you make it a rule to avoid electronics before bed, you will have more time for reading, meditating, a relaxing stress session, or having sex – all which will encourage sleep.

 

Apply these rules to your kids too

If you are struggling to get your child to go to sleep and not wake up at night, look at some of these same six factors. Are they watching dramatic shows, playing violent video games, or using a computer at night? Are they having stressful arguments with you about dinner and bedtime? Are you trying to ‘tire them out’ with lots of physical activity at night? Which is in fact just stimulating them more? Are they going to bed right after a huge meal? Are they having any stimulant drinks at night?

Focus on avoiding these 6 things in the hours before bedtime, and you may be amazed at how well you and your family sleep!

Other sleep articles by Primal Health:
Are Your Daily Habits Affecting Your Sleep Quality? Take the Quiz.
How My Body Swelled Up From Sleep Stress

 

Have you had problems getting quality sleep? What have you tried to improve your sleep?

17 Primal & Portable Protein Snacks

17 Real-Food Primal & Portable Protein Snacks

Healthy protein snacks keep your energy and metabolism thriving all day long (no mid-afternoon slump!), help you avoid cravings, and ensure that you’re never left hungry when there’s only junk food options around. Forget expensive and fake packaged protein bars, and get primal with these 17 real-food portable protein snacks (they are all naturally gluten-free, too!).

17 Primal & Portable Protein Snacks

1. Leftover chicken wings or drumettes: Chicken is yummy cold and full of protein to satisfy you for longer. Always make extras when you cook meals, so you have leftovers to pack for easy snacks. Just remember to take a small ice block to keep the chicken cold, especially in warm weather. Here’s an easy and yummy way to cook your wings and drumettes.

2. Hard-Boiled Eggs: Hard-boil at least half a dozen eggs once a week, so you always have this protein and nutrient rich snack to grab on your way out the door. You can even pre-peel them at home for no egg shell mess at work or on the train. Here’s a novel way of making hard-boiled eggs without boiling.

3. Mixed Nuts: One of the easiest snacks to throw in your bag and eat virtually anywhere, and you’ll never get bored with the wide variety of nuts available. Nuts have a pretty good protein content, plus some healthy fats to satiate you. Just be sure to not eat too many nuts that haven’t been activated (soaked and dried). Here’s how to easily activate your nuts at home (no dehydrator required!). I love to toss my finished nuts in oil and sea salt. Yum!

4. Rocky Shake: Thinking about Rocky Balboa drinking raw eggs during boxing training may make you gag, but if you put those raw eggs in a delicious shake, you get the protein and nutrition benefits without any egg taste whatsoever. Shakes become  portable snacks when you make them in the morning and pour into a glass jar with screw-top lid to take with you! Never ever use cage eggs, only the finest quality eggs you can get (worth the extra money, if you value your health), and have fun with a variety of primal shake recipes.

5. Meatballs: Again, the best way to continually eat well when time-poor is to love your leftovers. Whether you’ve used beef, pork, lamb or chicken mince (ground meat), you will be guaranteed a huge amount of protein for snacks. So this is an especially good snack for after a workout, when you have to go long periods between meals, and for insatiable kids. Try my original Coconut Meatballs, which are delicious cold the next day, or get a basic meatball recipe.

6. Pumpkin Seeds: Half a cup of these tasty seeds have about 14 grams of protein! One popular variety called Pepitas can be found in many health food stores, or you can make your own at home by rinsing and oven-roasting the seeds from your pumpkin. You can mix these with your nuts if you like, and add oil, sea salt, tamari or spices for varied flavour.

7. Canned seafood: Clearly, tinned food is not the most primal option, but it might be worth the exception now and then for convenient protein-filled and highly nutritious snacks. Just be sure that the fish is packed in spring water or olive oil, never vegetable oil. Though salmon and tuna are the most common, sardines, mussels and oysters are especially nutritious, or try mackerel (kippers) for a less fishy taste.

8. Two-Ingredient Pancakes: These banana and egg pancakes are making the rounds on the internet because how awesome is it to have a pancake with no flour at all! And the eggs will give you protein. They are small size pancakes, so they’re perfect for taking as snacks in your bag.

9. Jerky: Native peoples were snacking on beef jerky and salmon jerky long before it came in a package, and today most commercial jerky contains horrors like MSG and corn syrup. If you can’t find a brand that has nothing but meat and spices, here’s how to make your own jerky without a dehydrator.

10. Mini Fish Cakes: A more primal and delicious version of the canned seafood, this just takes a little bit more prep time, or you can again just use your awesome leftovers. You can make fish cakes a million ways to suit your tastes, including veggies or herbs to add even more nutrition to these protein and fatty-acid filled snacks.

11. Mini Egg Muffins: We are a huge fan of egg-muffins for breakfast and lunches so how about making them in mini-muffin tins to take for snack time? Simply throw your leftover chopped veggies in a bowl with 4-6 eggs and salt and pepper, mix it up and ladle into the mini muffin tins. After 20 minutes in a 180C (350F) oven, you have a bunch of real food protein snacks ready to go.

12. Raw Cheese: Who doesn’t love cheese?! Just make sure it’s always raw, never pasteurised! We have found two types of unpasteurised cheese in our Sydney supermarket and I saw loads of raw cheeses in the health food supermarkets in America. A little cheese goes a long way to satisfy your hunger, cravings and energy needs.

13. Spinach Bars: This awesome snack food has the protein of eggs plus the nutrition of spinach, garlic and herbs. Plus, it’s easy to take with you and not messy to eat. Make a big batch of spinach bars to enjoy throughout the week!

14. Nut Butter Spread: Nuts again, but now you’ve got a protein-rich dip or spread which adds variety and fun options for your daily snacks. Our favourite foods to dip or spread our nut butter on are apples, pears, bananas and raw carrots and celery. We pack the fruit or veg whole with our jar of nut butter and a little covered knife, then cut, dip and/or spread on the yummy nut butter at snack time. Or make any variety of ‘ants on a log’. Peanut butter is so old school, and legumes (yes, peanuts are not nuts!) don’t digest well for everyone, so try out some almond butter, cashew butter, mixed nut butter, or make your own at home in a food processor or Vitamix with your activated nuts!

15. Meat Rollup: On the night you make roast beef for dinner, cut a few thin slices of the roast beef and use them to roll up some thin veggies like capsicum (bell pepper) strips, carrot sticks or asparagus. Mustard, pesto or sauerkraut makes delicious meat rollups too, and if you eat dairy, you can throw in some raw cheese. Put the meat rollups in a small container to pack for snacks.

16. Homemade Sushi: More roll-up fun. Buy a pack of sushi nori from the supermarket or health food shop and have fun rolling up leftover meat and veg, avocado, whatever you like for your snacks. Rice or quinoa is totally optional. Here’s an easy lesson from me on how to make your own sushi.

17. Bliss balls or bars: If you’ve bought any of those date and nut bars or balls from the shop, you know they are amazingly delicious snacks. But did you know how easy they are to make at home? And SO much cheaper! Just mix in your food processor: 2 cups dried fruit to 1 cup nuts/seeds, plus your choice of cocoa, cacao, peppermint oil, coconut flakes, whatever you fancy. Roll into balls and keep in fridge or freezer until you’re ready to pop them into your snack bag. Just as yummy as those fake chocolate protein bars, but only real primal ingredients.

What’s your favourite real-food snack?